Charli, Brussels 03-2018

Charli is an excellent bakery (with a salon across the road) within central Brussels. It's location directly opposite Nordzee makes it so very convenient for before or after getting a seafood fix.

I tried several items at Charli which were overall good, but their bread loaves are clearly the winners. They don't sell sandwiches unfortunately, but maybe the salon does.

A croissant at 745am was somewhat cold. It surprised me a little expecting these might still be warm from the oven. It wasn't even room temperature so I'm not sure what happened there. The middle was quite dense and chewy with some butter flavour but not much of the expected texture, with some crispness of the shell. It was quite forgettable.

The cakes look decadent and are reasonably priced at €3.90 each. The passionfruit with black sesame intrigued me the most - the passionfruit layer was very strongly flavoured and the base tasted a lot like egg. Unfortunately there was no discernible black sesame flavour in my mind. The tatin had sweet soft stewed apples with a Breton biscuit base. Both of these items were fine but again nothing special.

However I did also invest in some bread and this was the one thing I would go back for. The rye bread aka seigle (600g for €3.80) is a very tangy sourdough made from 50% organic wheat and 50% French rye. It has a strong tangy flavour, soft texture and is excellent. I was also interested in the brioche, however I noticed they had a special item not on the website - buckwheat aka sarrazin (600g for €3.80) reminded me of the savoury galettes from Brittany and I couldn't help ordering this. It is a denser loaf with a mild buckwheat flavour that is different to other things. Having tried it, it doesn't have the same impact as galettes, so I would prefer to stick with my tangy sourdough next time.